Body Piercing FAQ

Index


Body Piercing: Frequently Asked Questions

Revision 0.2

This FAQ was written by Steve Kemp and the most recent version should be available from http://www.steve.org.uk/body/faq.html


   [Note: Text within [brackets] indicate text which would normally be placed
    in a footnote or a bibliography. However, since this FAQ is most likely
    going to be read as a text file on some newsreader, footnotes are
    unwieldly in the extreme. Therefore, all such information will be
    bracketed and indented like so. Read them or ignore them.  ]

Part One - General Questions

  • a) Why should I become pierced
  • b) Will piercing hurt?
  • c) Will I be left with scars if I take out the jewelry?
  • d) Where can I get pierced?
  • e) Who will pierce me?
  • f) How long will a piercing take to heal?
  • g) When can I change the jewelry?

Part Two - Piercing Questions

  • a) Will a belly button piercing scar/hurt?
  • b) Can I breast feed with pierced nipples?
  • c) Will a Prince Albert tear a condom?
  • d) Can I eat/talk with a pierced tongue?
  • e) What happens to my nose ring when I have a cold?

Part Three - Other Questions

  • a) Where can I read about piercing?
  • b) Where can I meet other pierced people?
  • c) How can I add to this list?


Part One

a) Why should I become pierced?
Well, the simple answer is that if you aren't sure that you want to be pierced then you probably shouldn't be. Piercing is such a large step for yourself, and for your body that you should be certain you want an area to be pierced before you go ahead and have it done.

b) Will piercing hurt?
Most piercings will be slightly sore after they are done, and some during the piercing, but it is difficult to say exactly how much they will hurt, as it can depend on many things, for example the amount of food that you have eaten recently, your state of mind, and to a certain extent your individual pain threshold.

c) Will I be left with scars if I take out the jewelry?
This really depends on how long since the piercing was performed, and on whether the piercing has fully healed yet. In general if the piercing has not yet healed it will be less likely to scar, as it will heal around the wound, but if it has been healed for a while then it will problably leave a mark, its size depending on the diameter of the jewelry being worn through it.

d) Where can I get pierced?
Almost any part of the body can be pierced, although some things are not generally recommended. A small list of things that can be pierced;
  • The ear lobes, shell, and the tragus [The piece of skin in front of the ear opening]
  • The nostrils, and the septum [Through the middle of the nose]
  • The bridge of the nose [Quite rare, and difficult to perform]
  • Upper/lower lip, and cheek
  • The eyebrow [Becoming more and more popular]
  • The nipples [Either horizontally, or vertically]
  • The belly button [Top or bottom]
  • The hand webbing [Not common, as it usually won't heal]
  • The armpit [Not common, as this probably wouldn't heal either]
  • The genitals [In many different parts]

e) Who will pierce me?
This is just a small list of people in Edinburgh that do piercing.
  • Steve Kemp [Me!] - E-mail for details
  • Patsy / Graham - Tribe on Cannongate
  • Tails - Primal Piercing, [In Ground Control, Cockburn St]

f) How long will a piercing take to heal?
Healing time really varies from person to person, and some locations take longer to heal than others. Having said that on average most piercings will be healed in about six weeks. Some, for example the belly button can take a lot longer, if they are not treated well.

g) When can I change the jewelry?
This is really dependant upon the healing time, it is best to only change the jewelry is fully healed, this will minimise any allergic reactions, and will also not prolong the healing longer than is absolutely necessary.

Part two

a) Will a belly button piercing scar/hurt?
Barring any infections that may cause scarring the belly is not likely to scar too much, although it will probably leave a small mark if it is removed, the size of this mark depends on the diameter of the jewelry worn through it, and on the presence, or absnce of any keloids. A keloid is a small lump of hard flesh that can develop around a healing piercing, [This is what the lump in pierced ears is that some people have, and can feel in their ear lobs], if these start to develop during the initial healing process then it is best to speak to your piercer, they can be helped with tea tree oil, or vitamin E cream. Piercing in general doesn't hurt very much, not as much as you would expect, (Or probably about as much as you would expect), the belly button is even less likely to be considered painful, as it is usually performed with an aneasthetic. This will be in effect whilst the piercing is done, and will wear off shortly afterwards, leaving a warm, tender feeling, but not much actual pain.

b) Can I breast feed with pierced nipples?
Yes, but only if you are a woman! The nipple contains about twenty milk ducts, and during piercing not all of them are going to be pierced, usually two or three at the most, the remaining undamaged ones continue to work as normal. When breast feeding you don't have to remove the jewelry, only make sure that it is of a secure type, a barbell would be ideal, as there is little chance of the baby being able to swallow part of it.

c) Will a Prince Albert tear a condom?
The simple answer to this is no, but condoms should be worn for at least two weeks after the piercing has been done - even if you wouldn't normally.

d) Can I eat/talk with a pierced tongue?
It is perfectly possible to eat properly and to talk coherently with a pierced tongue once it has begun to heal. However it is usually advised that no solid food should be attempted for about three days after the piercing has been performed. [For one thing the tongue will be a little bit tender once the aneasthetic has worn off, and it will probably swell a little bit] For the first few days talking may be a little bit unusual mainly due to the swelling of the tongue, and so you might lisp for a while, but once the tongue has returned to its usual size talking will return to normal too.

e) What happens to my nose ring when I have a cold?
This is a common question, the simple answer is nothing, it may be a little uncomfortable if it is a new piercing, but if it is well healed then there should be no problems with it at all. New piercings should be cleaned a little bit more often if you have a cold, but thats about the only thing to worry about, just don't pull it out when blowing your nose by accident!

Part Three

a) Where can I read about piercing?
The best place to start looking is in tattoo magazines, these do not cover piercing in any depth, but some do have reports occasionally. A very good read is Body Art, which should be available in Forbidden Planet in Edinburgh, or in West and Wild - This is a quarterly magazine which will set you back about eight pounds, but it is a very high quality publication, which also covers tattooing, body painting, etc.

b) Where can I meet other pierced people?
Pretty much anywhere you go these days, I remember the days...

c) How can I add to this list?
Adding to this list of questions, or getting me to change/include things couldn't be simpler. All you have to do is contact me and let me know what you think.

 

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